Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information
Last modified: 2018-04-13
Email: [email protected]
SMS: +1 (650) 332-4607

How should I format my phone numbers?

Use the E.164 format. If you're texting in the U.S. or Canada, country code is not required but is still recommended.

I'm using E.164 format but it's rejecting my number. What's wrong?

One common pitfall is that if you're sending a "+" sign in POST data, it must be URL encoded. Otherwise, the plus sign will be stripped or converted to a space when it's sent to the server. The process for encoding a URL will vary based on language and library support. If you need help, please contact us.

Which carriers/countries are supported?

All carriers in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Switzerland, and UK are supported.

Need another country? Chances are we support it too. You can also try sending a text to the foreign number using the free textbelt key to determine if it's already supported. Or, email us and let us know what country you need to text in.

How do I send a text internationally?

By default, texts are sent in the U.S. (country code +1). To text internationally, append the country code to your phone number.

Use the E.164 format. For example, to text someone in France (country code +33), set the number param to +33509758351.

How do I send texts from a specific phone number?

There is currently not a way for you to choose which phone number the texts are sent from. This is an intentional simplification that allows us to keep the API and service very straightforward.

Is there a way to send multiple texts at the same time?

No. You should send multiple HTTP requests in order to send multiple texts.

Is there any rate limiting?

You shouldn't send more than 1 text per second. There isn't strict rate limiting and the API won't cut you off, but you're advised to not exceed this limit as it could impact delivery.

How are long texts handled?

Texts up to a certain length (as of writing, 256 bytes) are automatically broken into segmented texts. Text segment length can vary based on carrier but is usually 120. If a long text is broken up into segments, it is delivered to the recipient as multiple texts. You will be charged for the number of segments (which is the same of the number of texts sent to the carrier).

Why was my short text counted as multiple texts?

The maximum size of a text is 140 bytes. If you use non-GSM characters (eg. unicode) your message may be limited to 70 characters, because unicode characters are 2 bytes each.

If you're running into this problem and you don't think your message is unicode encoded, closely inspect your message for sneaky unicode characters such as unicode whitespace, apostrophes, and quotation marks.

If I send a message and status is not "delivered" or "sending", does it count against my quota?

Yes, we can't retroactively refund texts that aren't successfully delivered. There are many explanations for a text not being delivered, but the most common explanation is that it's a bad number. Please make sure you know who you're texting!

If you are consistently having trouble sending texts to a number you know is valid, please reach out and we'll investigate and refund if necessary.

How reliable is the service?

Server and API uptime are tracked on our Status Page. Text delivery stats are not dashboarded because failed texts may also be caused by users (eg. invalid phone numbers). However, we closely monitor all such errors, caused by users or otherwise.

Note the difference between the open-source Textbelt project versus the paid service offered on uses a different, reliable telephony transport that requires payment on our part to ensure delivery by carriers.

Can I use Textbelt for emergency purposes?

No, you may not offer emergency services through Textbelt, or any service that impacts life safety. Textbelt is not reliable enough for these purposes and cannot accept this liability.

How does this differ from Textbelt Open Source?

Textbelt Open Source is a free project that uses email-to-SMS gateways. This allows people to text for free with medium reliability and more carrier restrictions. is a service that costs money because we pay carriers around the world to accept and deliver SMS. It does not use potentially unreliable email-to-SMS gateways.

Originally, Textbelt was just the open source project. Carriers began blocking the publicly hosted open source version because it was too popular. We recognized the need for a more reliable service and began working with carriers to ensure text delivery. This eventually led to the paid service.

What kinds of texts are not allowed?

The recipients of your texts should have opted in to receiving your messages. Textbelt is not for bulk advertising or spam.

Any messages that break the law in the United States (eg. scams and fraud) or any sort of harassment are prohibited.

Due to abuse, sending text messages containing URLs requires whitelisted permissions (send an email to support to get URL sending enabled on your account, or go to

Can I send texts via Tor?


How long does my quota last?

If you purchased quota before April 14, 2017, it lasts forever. If you purchase quota after that date, it will expire if 365 days go by without any usage on your key. If you send just one text every year, your quota will never expire.

We added this policy because everlasting, seemingly abandoned quotas are an outstanding business liability. If the price of SMS fluctuates significantly (this may not happen much in your country, but we now support 100+ countries) and suddenly an existing Textbelt quota becomes the cheapest around, it could hurt the business.

Other services don't face this problem because they keep a cash balance, but we like the simplicity of having one text = one quota. By capping quotas to a year of inactivity (which shouldn't be a problem for active users of the service), we avoid this uncertainty.

How does the money-back guarantee work?

If you decide that the Textbelt service is not satisfactory within 30 days of your original purchase, we'll give you a refund (prorated by the texts that you've sent). Email us and let us know the email address you signed up with, key, date of purchase, purchase amount, and why you'd like a refund.

Is there a subscription or automatic refill option?

Yes. It requires purchase by credit card, not Paypal. Get in touch at [email protected] to request auto-refill enabled.

Do you support forms of payment besides credit card?

Bitcoin is accepted on the payment form on the site. We understand that international users have difficulty using credit cards; if that's the case get in touch and we can try to work out another payment option.

I'm getting an error: "sslv3 alert handshake failure"

We don't support SSLv3 due to a security vulnerability.

You can force SSLv2 by using the --sslv2 flag with curl on most systems.

You can also just POST to, as opposed to https://. This will solve the problem, but traffic will not be encrypted (you might be ok with this because SMS is not secure to begin with).

Can I use Textbelt with Postman?

Yes. Here's a screenshot of a Postman configuration that works:

Still having problems?

Contact us directly at [email protected] or text +1 (650) 332-4607.